Sunday, December 21, 2014

Preparation

Our "travel" Advent Wreath.
 Here's a link to make your own!
This Advent was going to be a particularly hectic one for me. I spent most of the season pregnant...

Arthur Eugene made his way into the world 10 days ago.

...so minimalist was what I was striving to achieve. I wanted to focus on preparing for the birth of Jesus. I don't know if you all know this, but it is hard to get kids that are five and under interested in Advent. We have a particularly rambunctious 20-month old running around, so I opted for a small tree on a (very) high surface, and kept my very breakable Advent wreath boxed away. I bought an advent calendar and a paper Jesse Tree we could make together (We promptly fell behind after week one.) and my aunt sent a lovely book about the nativity for the kids to read. I'm not sure how much they really absorbed, but Hattie and Calvin were very excited to see how many candles were lit at Mass each week. 
Calvin: This is a story about Baby Jesus, his people, and Advent City.
 Then, Jesus said "I want a kitty!"


Advent City?


In short, I felt as though I was mostly preparing for Arthur's birth, and not so much for the birth of Christ. As I listened to the homily about preparation in Mass this morning (our first Mass as a family of six with four kids that could potentially burst into tears at any moment) I thought about my own ability to answer the question:

Are you prepared for the birth of our Lord?

I honestly do not know, but I know I have four(ish) days to try to get there. In case any of you are in the same boat, I thought I would share a few things I have up my sleeve. 

1. I plan to listen to The Oh Hellos Christmas album. Often. I know, I know, Christmas music, BUT. One of the movements definitely contains my favorite version of 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel' (Please, please, PLEASE release a cover of the song in its entirety. Thank you.)

2. Liesl was asking about one of my favorite pieces of modern Marian art the other day, so I was browsing through the artist's page, which reminded me of something:

Nellie Edwards- Adoration
The artist has titled this piece "Adoration" and I really can't get over how fantastic it is to think about Christmas or the nativity as adoration. Over the past ten days, our family has been looking at our newest member in awe, and I can't begin to fathom how incredible it must have been to be in the presence of Christ at his birth, and to look at Him in His infancy. Perhaps I am way hormonal and the birth of my own child drives home this point in a particularly moving way, but I believe that will be the key to my own mental and spiritual preparedness for the duration of this Advent season. 

3. We will also finish the Jesse Tree. Mark my words...

Poor, sad Jesse Tree.







Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Post Where I Let You In On A Secret.

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. Prepare yourself.



Maybe you should sit down for this one. I would hate for you to fall over from the shock.



It is near impossible to write with any sort of clarity or message while knee-deep in the chaos of pregnancy and three young children.



I KNOW.


There have been so many stories in the news, books I've read, and thoughts that keep creeping up and half forming a post in the last few months, but time is a precious commodity these days. So is quiet time. In a week, that time will pretty much be nonexistent with the addition of #4. I have never been so ready to complete a pregnancy and yet so painfully aware of the impending decrease in cohesive thought. As though to prove my point, I sat down to write this while the kids were quietly playing together, and suddenly they are all three surrounding me and taking turns yelling, "HEY!" to see who can annoy mom the fastest, and the youngest (without being seen) grabbed a small rolling pin from a drawer and is banging it on the wall.

I imagine four kids under the age of six is going to be stressful. I have been reminded lately of a neighbor friend that I had back when I was at home part time with my oldest, Calvin. She was born to be the SAHM, homeschooling mom. She rocked it: patience for days and she had a system. Now that I am about where she was then, I spend at least half of my shower time railing at God about how on earth He thought I could do this with three, not to mention adding the tiny one that is very soon to be here. This pregnancy my body has suddenly remembered I have hormones, and emotional instability has been the name of the game.



I spend a great deal of my time on the blog talking about feminism and what that word really means in relationship to Catholicism. New feminism and feminine genius ideas and concepts run through my head on a loop. Then I think about "feminine genius" and how it applies to women like my neighbor, and I can't help but be amused in my attempts to figure out how the hell it applies to a woman like me.

So, consider this an apology and a thank you. First, an apology for not writing very often these days. I will work on ways to increase the amount of thought that at least gets typed out to be sorted through. Second, an apology for not understanding how feminine genius and all its concepts can be applied to a continuum or a range of different kinds of women. I am working on sorting this out.

Finally, a thank you. Thank you to those of you that interact with me on other social media outlets such as the Facebook page. Thank you to those of you that share and comment on the posts here. Thank you to those of you that read and remind me that there are others out there that think like me and are interested in what I have to say. If I was a hugger, I'd hug you, but instead I offer you a virtual thumbs up.

I promise. Baby thumbs up. It's a thing.